XLA Studios and the Benefits of Reflow
Guest blog post from Alex Hallajian. Alex is the founder of XLA Studios, a full service film production company.
It has always been a challenge to develop web content for multiple browsers on multiple platforms. Now with mobile representing a large portion of online visitors, the number of acquisition methods has more than doubled. The overhead to prepare content for all devices can be time consuming and costly, especially when it comes to displaying video content. For every second the visitor has to zoom in or zoom out to align the video before pressing play, the chances of them leaving before even watching the video increases.
Given the cost of producing high quality video, the loss of a potential viewer is more costly than just creating the proper delivery for the video in the first place. You can’t begin to measure the effectiveness of a video if visitors are leaving before even seeing it. The video has to be accessible to all visitors with minimal obstacles. By using a responsive design, the website can target all platforms and deliver the video without the viewer being distracted by the website’s layout.
Even though responsive design and the ability to deliver specific content to a device have been around for a while, the amount of time it takes to cater to every platform is cost prohibitive and a lot of work. Because of this, many companies that invest in video production don’t even share their webpage with a video embed. They mostly rely on Facebook, YouTube, or Vimeo to handle the display of their content. Of course there are the benefits of the social network and sharing, but there is one downside to sending the viewer to a third party: the viewer is no longer on your website. You run the risk of losing the visitor once they leave your site. By delivering the appropriate content for their device, there is no need to send the visitor away and they can continue on to explore more site content. The visitor is going to share the content as long as it is easy for them to do so.
We used Adobe Edge Reflow to redesign our website and were pleased to see how the application allowed us to visualize and create the design for multiple screen resolutions all while using one layout. The ability to sync the initial Photoshop layout to Reflow’s asset manager using the Photoshop Asset Sync Feature removed the process of the usual saving and exporting while adding new graphics. Now, once a change is made in the Photoshop layout, just go back to Reflow and it’s already there.
This is an amazing feature as in the past the process has been to lockdown the design before cutting it up for code. There used to be a risk of having to abandon large blocks of code to facilitate a design change. Now with the ability to go back to the original design during the coding phase, there’s no penalty in taking a step back to the original design. This also allows for new discoveries to be made while testing the layout and an easy implementation to make the change by simply editing the Photoshop document and switching back to Reflow.
Our main goal with our video productions for our clients is to create content that resonates with the viewer. Although technology and devices are changing every day, just throwing a video online isn’t the end of it. After a production, a video lives on to be discovered and shared. So something as simple as a page not loading properly is an unfortunate way to lose a viewer. The advantage of designing for multiple devices in one page greatly reduces development time. It’s that savings in time that can be passed on to the client so there is more time to focus on creating engaging video content.
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